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Shohei Ohtani becomes first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle

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Angels DH Shohei Ohtani hit for the cycle on Thursday night against the Rays, becoming the first Japanese-born player to accomplish the feat. Ohtani is the second player to hit for the cycle this season, joining the Twins’ Jorge Polanco, who did so on April 5 against the Phillies. Mike Trout was the last Angel to hit for the cycle, occurring on May 21, 2013 against the Mariners.

Ohtani gave the Angels an early 3-0 lead, drilling a three-run home run to left-center field in the first inning off of Ryan Yarbrough. Ohtani then led off the third with a double, tripled in the fifth, and singled in the seventh.

Ohtani made his season debut on May 7 after recovering from offseason Tommy John surgery. He was off to a slow start but has heated up as of late. Since June 4, Ohtani has 14 hits in 35 trips to the plate with five homers, a pair of doubles, a triple, and 12 RBI.

Nationals’ Strasburg ejected for arguing from the stands

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?

Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.

Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.

Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.

Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.

“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.

The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.